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, 70,000 have been killed since protests against syrian president assad. robert frod testified at a robert ford testified at a hearing. this is two hours and 15 minutes. >> this hearing will come to order. we need to review the syrian crisis. it was two years ago last week on the nightly news that we saw those protesters walking through the street, chanting, peaceful. what the world saw next without the syrian forces opened up with small arms fire on the marchers. over the ensuing weeks, that was followed by materially -- artillery barrage is and tanks and aerial apartment and finally i scud missiles into cities. we are now two years into that syria and uprising. for two leady years, u.s. policy has been a drift. the obama administration saw assad as a reformer in the works. then it bet on moscow to play a constructive role. this is the assad who is bombing villages in syria. this is the assad who is ordering teenagers tortured. frankly, he is engaged in murdering his populist. the ancient city is now in ruins. 70,000 syrians are dead. a million refugees has spilled into neighb
the assad regime in syria, allowing the over flights by iran. now, if so, that raises serious questions about u.s./iraqi relations going forward. secretary kerry met with iraqi prime minister malkey in his unannounced stroz baghdad today. and those iranian flights were at the top of the agend a. the secretary and the prime minister had a private meeting that kerry described as a spirited discussion. when it was over, the secretary told reporters, quote, anything that supportings president assad is problematic. i made it very clear to the prime minister that the overflights from iran are in fact helping to discontinue president osaud and his regime. thez believes the iranian aircraft flying over iraq are carrying weapons to help arm the syrian government, although it rawn insists it is humanitarian aid. the u.s. has asked iraq to force the planes to land in iraq for inspections. but only a few have been checked. they have long been a point of conflict between the and u.s. iraq. >> the intent here, fwy going public, is to increase the pressure on al-malma laki. but it shows how minimal ou
appearance this sunday. this one very unexpected, the glamorous wife of syria's president, bashar al assad. the first public appearance of asma al assad. her first public appearance in more than two years. she and her children have been hiding. alex marquardt on why she ventured outdoors in damascus. >> reporter: in the rare public appearance captured in these photos, asma al assad seems the quintessential first lady. elegant, adored, caring. it was a fund-raiser for the mothers of syrian soldiers, killed in the two-year civil war. 37-year-old mrs. assad had hardly been seen since last year. until then, she'd been a darling of the west. a fluent english speaker born in london, educated in prestigious english schools. her marriage to president bashar al assad had raised hopes for reform. >> many changes have happened. many positive changes have happened. but we haven't reached our final destination. >> reporter: days before the uprising started, "vogue" magazine published a glowing profile, calling her a rose in the desert. >> asma al assad worked very hard for a period of 11 years to promo
has resigned. the founder of the rebel-free syrian army, the main group challenging the assad regime seriously injured in a car bombing. a number of developments here as we welcome you to whole new week here on "america's newsroom.". i'm bill hemmer. martha has time for the family. >> i'm heather childers, nice to be here again. secretary of state john kerry is in the middle east. he is urging iraq to stop letting iran use its airspace to shuttle weapons and soldiers to the syrian government >> for those of us engaged in the effort to see president assad step down and a see a democratic process take hold with a transitional government government according to the geneva communique, for those of us engaged in that effort, anything that supports president assad is problematic. bill: so iran claims the flights contain humanitarian supplies. conor powell in the middle east bureau in jerusalem. first of all who is behind the car bomb, the car bomb hit on the rebel commander? >> reporter: so often is the case, bill, really tough to get accurate information coming out of syria. but it is not
by the bashar al-assad regime. president obama expressing frustration with those who question the president about why the united states is not doing more to intervene in the syrian conflict. >> it is fair to say that the united states often finds itself in a situation where does criticize militarily. if we don't go in militarily, then people ask why we are not doing something. lou: senator carl levin, pushing president obama to take a hands-on approach to the removal of bashar al-assad. and as senator john mccain looking for a no-fly zone to be instituted. while calling for surgical airstrikes to help drive the bashar al-assad. the president repeated that any evidence of this weapon to use would be a game changer, as he put it. president obama defended his administration's reluctance to use military force to quell the syrian civil war. >> when we are working with the syrians themselves, so this is not externally imposed, but rather something that is linked directly with the aspirations of the people inside of syria, it will work better. lou: the king has also said the same. inside jordan co
maliki, accusing him of colluding with iran to prop up the assad regime by permitting almost daily weapons shipments from iran to syria through iraq's airspace. >> we had a very spirited discussion on the subject of the overflights. i made it very clear to the prime minister that the overflights from iran are in fact helping to sustain president assad. and his regime. >> reporter: iraq denies it but u.s. officials say there are far too many flights. plus intelligence that iranian weapons and fighters are also moving overland through iraq to syria. it is called survival in a tough neighborhood. >> for maliki a rebel victory in syria he fears will empower his political opponents in iraq. >> reporter: nbc's richard engel who covered the war from beginning to end. >> iraq didn't become a stable u.s. friendly democracy. but a shiite led state with close ties to iran. still at war with itself. >> reporter: kerry warns prime minister that courting iran risks his partnership with the u.s. >> i also made it clear to him that there are members of congress and people in america who increasing
, a she'ite muslim is helping to support the assad regime in syria. now, secretary kerry met with iraqi president nouri al-maliki during a visit in baghdad today. those iranian flights were at the top of the agenda. they had what kerry described as a spirited discussion. here is the secretary. >> anything that supports president assad is problematic and you i made it very clear to the prime minister that the overflights from iran are in fact helping to sustain president assad and his regime. >> reporter: the u.s. believes the iranian aircraft flying over iraq are carrying weapons to arm the syrian government but tehran says they are delivering only humanitarian aid there. they wanted to force the planes for inspections but only a few have been checked. >> i think the intent here by going public is to increase the pressure on al-maliki but the whole incident how minimal influence is on the regime in iraq and how minimal our ability to affect the conflict in syria has become. >> reporter: u.s. officials say the flights are taking place just about every day. kerry says the u.s. congress is
. >> kremlin steadfastly backed the assad regime with weapons and political support blamed the rebels. but opposition leaders swiftly denied responsibility for attack in any event would have exceeded the known military capabilities. >> the rebels don't have access to chemical weapons. they don't have access to watch the chemical weapons. >> indeed the regime of the dictatorial president bashar assad long been believed to possess one of the largest arsenals of biological and chemicals weapons. he has used scud missile against the rebels in the two-year civil war that claimed upwards of 70,000 lives. while the pentagon restricted itself to saying that the u.s. has no evidence that either side used chemical weapons, others in the obama administration went on offense. >> to say we have no reason to believe the allegations represent anything more than the regime's continued attempt to discredit the legitimate opposition and distract from its own atrocities committed against the syrian people. >> we would warn the regime making these charges, any kind of pretext or cover. for its use of che
with the civil war in syria. how? the secretary says that iraq has been helping prop up assad as he fights for power there. kerry making an unannounced visitor to iraq and meeting with nuri al-maliki. and stopping the flow of weapons into neighboring syria. weapons that are only making the civil war more deadly. and steve centanni is here. how are they flowing into syria? >> reporter: according to u.s. officials there are flights just about every day, from iran to syria travelling across the iraqi air space. iran says they carry humanitarian aid, but u.s. says they carry weapons to the syrian government. and secretary of state john kerry urged al-maliki to crack down on the flights requiring they land in iraq for inspection before continuing on to syria. >> we had a very spirited discussion on the subject of the overflights and i made it very clear, anything that supports president assad is problematic. >> kerry suggested the future of u.s.-iraqi relations is hanging in the balance here, harris. >> harris: given the recent talks and the possibility of chemical weapons used on citizens and
for joining us. >> yeah, thank you. sandra: the cia backed an arms lift to rebels hoping to wipe out the assad regime once and for all, but new aid could create more problems than it solves. details on that next. plus, florida gulf coast making a cinderella run for the ages. how can it turn its name into a big brand in college sports? piles of "money" coming up. ♪ ♪ sandra: the markets are closed, but there are always ways to be making money. keep an eye on boeing and the 787 dreamliner. they are conducting a two hour check flight of the dreamliner. all appears to be going well so far. later this week, it will conduct another flight test on proposed fixes to the plane's lithium ion batteries, the biggest problem, and a clean bill of health could bode well for the stock. by the way, even with the dreamliners trouble, stock up 12%, out doing the s&p 500 this year, by the way. the central intelligence agency is financing and backing a major arms air lift to the syria rebels. according to a new report, it's a big escalation in u.s. aid to take down the assad regime. is it enough to end it once
simply aren't going to improve the situation. the colonel assad is reportedly in stable condition in turkey after an assassination attempt. he was one of the original founders of the free syrian army but has been somewhat marge alized in recent months. colonel assad has never been able to unite the many different groups fighting the syrian regime of the the attack on his life happened while he was touring a rebel area. there is the possibility that there is internal rebel politics at play though syrian rebels blame syria and the assad government for the attack. in another blow to the opposition, the leading opposition figure, katabi offered his resignation yesterday but it was rejected by rebel leaders. on facebook he said he was resigning due to restrictions on his work. the overall inner workings of the syrian opposition is really, really complicated. as actual fighters fighting in syria simply don't report to the syrian leadership and jenna, this really does remain a fragmented syrian opposition and two years into the civil war, it hasn't really improve many in the internationa
publicly that assad of syria has to go. that was a choice that he made. one would assume that declaring it publicly involves a commitment by the united states which the united states is prepared then to make effective. and that, therefore, we have the means and the strategy for achieving that objective. it soon turned out that this was a rhetorical commitment without a real capacity for follow through on our part. so we went to the u.n., and we demanded that the u.n. security council support us on this. not surprisingly, the russians and the chinese said, well, we don't share this conclusion, and we're not going to join you in forcing assad out, and we object, and the resolution failed. we thereupon denounced the russians and chinese as having engaged in a stance that is infantile and disgusting, those were the words used by our ambassador to the u.n. which is not a way of soliciting their support for further -- [laughter] further common policy. on top of it, it became increasingly clear that the opposition to assad is very mixed. some of it involves some of our friends who are sponsori
bomber blew up a damascus mosque killing 42 people including a prominent sheikh who supports the assad regime. opposition leaders denied all responsibility. this is just another sign of vulnerability in a regime that has thousands of chemical weapons. today president obama warned assad and his forces that the world is watching. the president said they will be held accountable if they use chemical weapons or let them fall into the hands of terrorists. but in secret testimony this week, congressional committees were told some of these deadly weapons are, in effect, locked and loaded. and that the regime plans to use them. israeli intelligence agrees, i'm told, and believe the trigger could well be if aleppo, syria's largest city, falls to the rebels. if that were to happen, the president and netanyahu have military plans in place to stop the weapons from getting into the hands of terrorists. and of course, brian, the other big concern for the u.s. and israel is iran. just today iran's supreme leader threatened to level israeli cities if israel sights the nuclear program. lots to worry ab
as spirits, no breakthrough was achieved. >> anything that supports president assad is problematic and i made it very clear to the prime minister that the overflights from iran are in fact helping to sustain president assad. >> talks also focused on iraq's transition to democracy as it prepares for upcoming elections at a time when violence is on the rise. >>> back here in the u.s., we're watching a lot of weather. bill karins here with a look at the northeast. you say you're promising this will be the last time. >> it has to be, right? >> i hope you're right. >> ten inches of snow in denver, nine in condition can city. st. louis had 12 inches. this isn't your average snowstorm. st. louis is not a very snowy city. they got a foot of snow. it was the most snow they've had in one single storm going back since 1982. and here it was, the end of march. st. louis should typically be about 60 degrees. i think you get the gist. the storm is moving through the ohio valley, now hitting maryland, d.c. and maryland. we've picked up as much as three to four inches in some areas of maryland. that's pushing
it was the assad regime used some type of chemical weapons on rebels in northern syria, around the aleppo region. of course the assad regime and assad state television said rebels used those weapons. what we're hearing from western intelligence officials, it was opposite, assad regime used some type of chemical weapons and killed somewhere between 15 and 26 people. conflicting reports. we heard 15. we also heard 26. there is a lot of differing information right now. but we have confirmed of course, there have been some type of chemical weapons being used in syria. now who used them on exactly which group is still very much unclear right now, bill. bill: conor, thank you. just one line crossing the associated press at the moment here. reuters was reporting on this a little bit earlier. we're sorting through this on our end. conor come back when you have more from jerusalem there. martha: our thanks to him. this is breaking news right now. we want to bring in ambassador john bolton to get his reaction to this. you heard what conor powell told us. what do you think, ambassador? >> i don't take anyt
administration to use patriot missiles to degrade the assad regime's air power and the chair and ranking members of the house intelligence committee have introduced a bill calling for the administration to arm syrian rebels. asked today about whether the united states would provide a more aggressive military response to the syrian crisis, the president would only say this. >> the united states often finds itself in a situation where if it goes in militarily then it's criticized for going in militarily. and if it doesn't go in militarily then people say why aren't you doing something militarily, and, you know, my response at this stage is to make sure that what we do contributes to bringing an end to the bloodshed as quickly as possible. >> joining me now is nbc's peteral exandriny. >> the president wraps up his four-day visit to the middle east tomorrow. with renewed pressure to handle the crisis in syria, a nation he's not visiting, what is the effect of this trip been on that issue, do you think? >> reporter: well, i think we've got a pretty good sense of it as i was there in the news conferen
weapon attack in syria. the rebels are blaming president assad's forces, but the government blames the rebels. meanwhile, president obama has said use of chemical weapons would be a red line for his administration. but if these latest accusations prove true, is now the time for u.s. boots on the ground? here now to tell us is house intelligence committee chair mike rogers. he's a republican from michigan. keith and jimmy are still with us. chairman rogers, thank you very much, sir. is there truly conclusive evidence that one side or the other has really used chemical weapons. >> larry, when i look at all of the evidence, all of the intelligence, and the body of reporting over the last two years, i come to the conclusion with a high probability that the assad regime has used, at least in limited quantities, chemical weapons. they've also put them in a position to be used, and i believe, and the intelligence community, i think, believes that they have serious intent to use them under the right circumstances. so the red line that the president talked about, august 20th, was, if they m
.s. is training fighters to join the battle against president bashar assad owho has been slaughtering his own people for more than two years now. the program has been going on in jordan for at least 8 months. the trainees do not include members of free syrian army which has meanwhile the u.s. reports it's pulling half of its foreign staffers out of syria after a mortar attack damaged their hotel and a vehicle in damascus. a spokesman says that the move is temporary and united nations is still committed to finding a political solution to that bloody civil war. the united nations now we are hearing about new fox report correspondent more sign today of how tough this remains for that opposition. >> on a military and political level, first the e founder and one the leaders of the free syrian army has been badly wounded in a car bomb attack. in fact, we are hearing that that gentleman right there has lost a leg. that a major blow to the free syria army. then on the political front, the leader of the syrian national coalition has resigned. citing differences with other senior figures within the opp
. >>> and now syria. the assad regime and rebel forces are accusing one another of using chemical weapons. syrian state media reported that rebel forces launched a chemical attack killing at least two dozen people, injuring more than 100 people. rebels deny that charge vehemently and accuse regime forces of shelling a town near damascus with chemical rockets. our senior international reporter is in amman, jordan, this morning. i know there are a lot of questions to substantiating the claims. what do we know so far? >> reporter: most of the information is coming from syrian state tv. and that's claiming that at least 25 people were killed in some kind of an attack in a village. scores of people wounded. and then syrian state tv playing interviews with some of the alleged victims who were saying that they smelled chlorine and almost all aping the same message, is this the freedom that the free syrian army rebels want? so some of those statements do come out to be a little suspect. neither side has been entirely truthful when it comes to the information and media war over syria. now very qui
that we're evaluating it. >> and assad has used scud missiles, fighter planes and other military assets to try to squash the two year uprising, upwards of 70,000 lives have been lost. and president obama, as megyn mentioned, says that either moving the chemical weapons around or using them would cross a quote, unquote, red line that would cause the president to change his calculus about the hands-off posture that the u.s. has adopted in the conflict. there were reports that the assad regime used against he the opposition forces, incapacitating thing called agent 15, which incapacitates your nervous system and causes hallucinations. >> megyn: thank you, the state department weighed in moments ago as we were going to air, saying that it remains, quote, quite concerned that assad's government will resort to nonconventional weapons. that doesn't tell us whether they have today, but they remain quite concerned that the government will. now, james just mentioned, it was just last august that president obama issued a warning, and as i mentioned, about chemical weapons in syria. no matter which
issue by president obama who warned syria's dictator bashar al-assad that he should not cross that line. bill: the white house has been briefed and the white house has to make some decisions in this. i think the days are becoming more desperate and the regime is more desperate and we know where the chemical weapons are, end quote. peter doocy leads the coverage in washington. how certain are the lawmakers that chemical weapons have been used, peter? >> reporter: not 100% certain, bill but senator feinstein says lawmakers have seen the same intelligence the white house has seen. mike rogers the chairman of the house intelligence committee said in an interview about syria i have a high probability to believe that chemical weapons were used w we need the final verification. i, mike rogers, chairman. intelligence committee would come to the conclusion they are either positioned for use or ready to do that or in fact have been used. if a final verification about chemical weapons use is made, congressman rogers says the united states is morally obligated to take out syria's weapons delivery s
. >> the violence is not going to stop unless and until assad understands that he can't shoot his way out of, this that the better course of action, if he wants to save his country is to allow a transition to better government. >> this new amateur video out of syria while impossible to authenticate shows the fighting apparently raging in key centers including homes in damascus. as a leader of the main syrian rebel group is throwing his support behind the formation of an interim government whose leader may be tomorrow in istanbul, turkey, shep. >> shepard: nations have long avoided during this conflict the idea of sending weapons directly to the rebels. that's changed or no? >> it seems to have changed. at a news conference with the australian foreign minister a short time ago. secretary of state john kerry really opened the door stating the u.s. does not stand in the way of other countries, whether it's france or britain or anyone else who wants to it arm the opposition. >> so as long as the president assad continues to attack his own people with scuds, with aircraft, with tanks, there is an
. president obama says he's skeptical assad used chemical weapons. >> we have been clear that the use of chemical weapons guess against the syrian people would be a mistake. >> by the way, netanyahu agrees with president obama on syria conservatives tried to use our relationship with israel to grab votes. they accused president obama of not getting it. and some called him the most antiisrael president in history. bb set the record straight. >> i want to thank you for the investment you've made in our relationship and strengthening the alliance between our countries. the president has reaffirmed more than any other president, israel's right and duty to defend itself against any threat. so it's a pro found honer to host you, the leader of the free world, at this historic time in our ancient capital. welcome to israel. >> let's turn to policy analyst for the center for american progress. let me start with you. we see these conciliatory gestures being offered by prime minister netanyahu, but that's different than the lecture he gave to obama in his own digs in the white house. what accoun
are being used in syria by the assad regime or by rebel groups? what do you think? >> i don't know but chairman rogers, highly respected chairman of the intelligence committee has access to information that very select leaders have in this country. so when he is drawing a conclusion it is likely it is probable, i think we have to take him at his word. i believe also before our government would take any action, they would have to actually confirm that chemical weapons were used. heather: you know syrian president assad, he released some pictures, he released some video. i have, i believe we have some of that, that he says proves that rebel forces used chemical weapons on this attack. he alleges it happened on march 19th in aleppo. just from you viewing this video, taking a look at these pictures, can you yourself tell, i mean, you can't tell if chemical weapons were in fact used here but president assad says this is proof. >> well certainly doctors after a period of time would be able to determine that to be sure. whether we could get accurate information from assad's medical system
to the syrian army through iraqi air space. >> anything that supports president assad is problematic. and i made it very clear to the prime minister that the overflights from iran are, in fact, helping to sustain president assad. there are members of congress and people in america who increasingly are watching what iraq is doing, and wondering how it is that a partner in the efforts for democracy and a partner for whom americans feel they have tried so hard to be helpful, how that country can be, in fact, doing something that makes it more difficult to achieve our common goals. >> nbc's mike taibbi is live for us in akabul, afghanistan. mike, let's talk. this is not a photo op. this is some tough talk from john kerry. how is it being received? >> well, it has been tough talk from secretary of state john kerry, and you wonder how spirited the discussions are going to be with afghan president hamid karzai. they're meeting and now there will be a joint press conference later. the two men know each other. kerry has made five previous trips here when he was a senator. but there have been strained rel
before assad goes. jessica yellin is live from amman, jordan where that press conference just wrapped. jessica, the president said assad would go but sounded perhaps a little annoyed about being asked how that might happen. why was he seemingly annoyed? >> well, jake, we counted and this is the sixth time that the president or a member of his administration has said assad must go just in the last month alone. but none of them has laid out a plan or a path for direct action by the united states to help remove assad from power. without any direct military intervention by the u.s. the president knows he is vulnerable to criticism. that he is standing by while a massacre is taking place and that is a particularly sharp and poignant charge when he is standing here in jordan where they are providing refuge to some 7,000 syrians who are fleeing for safety every day. some 7,000 people crossing the border into jordan from syria each day because of the violence there. >> i believe the king abdullah of jordan said that the settlements of refugees now form something like the fifth largest town in
join the effort of others to arm the opposition? how long will assad stay in power? that changes on almost a day-to-day basis because the situation is so uncertain as it enters the third year. the president is a bit defensive because people ask where was the world's biggest super power? you are supposed to be the voice of humanitarian needs around the world. how could you let this go on so long? why haven't you done more? the president said today at the news conference the united states from the start was calling on assad to step down and we know if you look at the calendar it is simply not true. many other countries were ahead of the united states in calling for assad to step down but it's a tough one for the president. he is right in the sense the united states used military force in this region from the beginning, there is still a big hangover from the iraq war in this part of the world. it would have been controversial. all the choices are difficult. he does get a bit defensive when that question is posed, wolf. >> he certainly does at least that is the impression you get fro
described as spirited, no breakthrough was achieved. >> anything that supports president assad is problematic and i made it very clear to the prime minister that the overflights from iran are in fact hipping to sustain president assad. >> talks also focused on iraq's transition to democracy as it prepares for upcoming elections at a time when violence is on the rise. >> all right, here's your first look at your dish of scrambled politics. they're warming to the idea of same-sex marriage but many oppose marriage equality. karl rove signaled there could be a major shift in his party's outlook. >> karl rove, could you imagine a republican candidate saying i'm for gay marriage? >> i could. >> the supreme court begins arguments on it, the legality and one benefit to endorsing the notion with one strategist te telling politico opening up the idea will open up donors around the country. >>> zuckerberg is forming an issues advocacy organization focusing on comprehensive immigration reform. >>> rand paul doesn't want to legalize drugs but doesn't want them to go to jail either. >> the l
's a long standing syria through the decline or democrat myself of the assad regime, which i think is inevitable, will be a serious blow to iran. >> so if you have washington, sir, on one side of the scale and tehran on the other, who does baghdad more closely align with? >> well, our hope is, of course, that it will be a truly democratic regime which will be primarily loyal to the interests of the people in iraq and that their views will be consistent with others in supporting and strengthening democratic institutions. but as with many of the other countries in the middle east, there are a whole series of conflicting interests there and it will play out over a long period of time. but our interest is in democratic institutions, democratic societies who will serve their people and not be so much interested in the kinds of conflicts that have raged for so long in that region. >> you mentioned your hopes are for the inevitable assad regime there in syria. but today one of the national coalition, the head of that resigned. he was the key u.s. ally among the rebels. how big of a blow i
, to prop up assad in syria and that this is something that americans and the congress, that the administration, cannot understand or tolerate, and as kerry told us afterwards, it was a very spirited conversation, because he got a lot of pushback from maliki. maliki argued that assad is facing extremists in this country. so he basically, even though he's not terrible sympathetic with assad politically, assad staying in power is very important for maliki's domestic politics because he fears a takeover by the rebels would actually lead to rebellion fact. the message from kerry was pretty tough. that congress is losing patience with iraq and that maliki will not have any role in the political decisions to come once assad falls with this pll political transition being worked out with international leaders, if he continues to help iran prop up assad. >> there are reports also that the head of the syrian opposition coalition reports that he resigned this post at some point today. what do we know about that, and what kind of complications could that present for the united stat
, maybe chlorine gas, that's not nerve agents. i think that assad may have been testing the waters. if chemicals were used, you've got to watch if he's going to use them in the future as the situation grows increaselying desperate and feels he has nothing to do lose, but meanwhile for us and for the israelis, apart from the geopolitical mess and instability, the real and present danger is chemical weapons falling into the hands of islamist fanatics. we are apparently, i'm told, we're told, we're working on a plan to deal with that militarily if necessary, but if we have to, megyn, it's going to be ugly and tough and messy. >> megyn: and i wanted just to clarify so it was the israeli minister of intelligence and strategic affairs who says it's apparently clear that a chemical weapons were used in syria and that that alleged attack will be a main topic of conversation between those two leaders today. ralph stand by, i'd love to hear from you on the opposite side of this presser to get some context on what we're about to hear. if the israelis are saying that syria has crossed the red
, both the assad regime and the rebels are blaming one another for the deadly rocket blasts that killed the at least 31 people and that included 21 civilians. now, according to reuters photographer who was on the ground, people were seen suffocating in the streets and the air apparently smelled of chlorine. it's unclear who is behind the attack, the white house is expressing skepticism over the regime's claim that it was the rebels. >> at this time we have no evidence to substantiate that charge and we're skeptical deeply of a regime that might make that charge given that the regime has lost all credibility in the eyes of the syrian people and the world. having said that we're obviously assessing the reports and without getting into intelligence matters, i can tell you that we're making evaluations about the reports. >> sean: now, as the obama administration continues to make assessments about the developing situation overseas, questions are raised if the u.s. should intervene in the civil war. the president said the chemical weapons against the syrian people would constitute a red line
, consorting with iran and rearming assad undercuts all of the international efforts to get assad out of there. so by propping up assad in a hot war, if you will, in a civil war where 70,000-plus people have already died, al maliki has become more of a problem than a solution. >> andrea mitchell as always, going to where the news is. thank you for the perspective from the room. much appreciated. >> christopher hill is the former u.s. ambassador to iraq and the dean of the corbell school of international studies at denver university and joins us to talk more about the situation. now ambassador hill, i want to to talk about andrea used the phrase "an erratic figure" to describe president karzai, particularly after his comments of the alleged u.s. collusion with the taliban that he is now saying was a misunderstanding. can we trust karzai after the behavior he has exhibited over the last three and a half weeks? >> i think we know karzai pretty well we've dealt with him for a long time. and i think secretary kerry in particular has a kind of personal relationship with him. i think with respect to
weapons have been used. they are not sure who used them, the rebels or the assad regime. the united states government has confirmed any of that but we will hear from the president. he has talked about the use of chemical weapons as a red line when it comes to syria. president will overnight here. tomorrow heads to the west bank, next day to jordan and an overnight stay with king abdullah. reporting from jerusalem, this is chuck todd, nbc news. >>> okay, chuck. thanks. we are waiting for that special report in israel. other news now drones debated on capitol hill today as the senate committee discusses the potential for domestic use. various law enforcement agencies, including alameda county sheriff's office have floated the idea of using drones for community surveillance. the unmanned aircraft are already being used by businesses and agriculture. but critics have raised concerns about privacy. drones took the spotlight a few weeks ago during kentucky senator rand paul's 13-hour filibuster on the senate floor when he discussed the possibility of drone strikes against u.s. citizens. >>> a bi
was an outspoken supporter of assad. >>> a major shut down has been confirmed for the third largest school district in the nation. chicago mayor rahm emanuel i announced thursday the city will plan 54 schools which is 8% of the district. the mayor called the closings a tough but necessary choice citing many half empty public school buildings. opponents who turned out to protest said the closures will endanger students in troubled areas who may have to cross gang boundaries to attend classes. they think the closures will save millions. >>> gun legislation set to hit the senate floor next month will include universal background checks. this according to harry reid who introduced the bill last night. he's vowing that any bill that passes the senate must include background checks. the most contentious part of the measure. reid promised votes on a proposed assault weapons ban and limits on high capacity magazines. the legislation aims to make gun trafficking a federal crime and strengthen safety measures at schools. yesterday john lennon was thrust into the gun debate. his widow drew attention to the ca
to rebels inside syria, offering an alternative to the government of bashar al-assad, who's been a bad person. we want to see him go. man, andng this other information technology executive who lives in texas, and it goes on to say he is of kurdish dissent and may have seen a plus since he has been criticized for not reaching out to syria more. some council members say he was the choice of syria's muslim brotherhood, a group that had been banned and persecuted under the assad regime and that played a powerful role. then it goes on to say that mr. hito advocated for muslim americans as a representative of the council on american-islamic relations. concerningghtly particularly since i have all these different families of all different denominations and faiths telling me of their concerns of what takes place with some of the people currently in syria. for aadquarters, the need new fbi headquarters has been in the news lately. received 35 proposals from developers and communities in the metro area interested in hosting a new headquarters building. can you bring the committee updates first w
. to the kingdom of jordon he announced an additional $2 million of u.s. aid. >> i am confident assad will go. it's not a question of if, it's when. >> asked how that will happen, he struck a defensive note. >> it's fair to say that the united states often finds itself in a situation where it goes in military it is criticized and if it doesn't then people say, why don't you go in militarily? >> reporter: former allies whose three year stand off had ripples across the region. >> timing was good for that conversation to take place. i discussed it with prime minister netanyahu and pwoeftbo us agreed the moment was right, and fortunately they were able to begin the process of rebuilding the relations between two important countries in the region. >> reporter: concerning back to syria, jordon's king abdullah offered assad asylum in jordon, but when asked if that offer still stands, he did not renew the pledge. >>> in other news, a 10-year-old boy is dead this morning. one other person clinging to live after a display sign fell on them in an airport in birmingham, alabama. the report was the sign of ar
've seen middle east dictators show no hesitation to use these chemical agents before. assad's own father used them. 40,000 syrians killed in hama. saddam hussein didn't hesitate to use chemical weapons against his own people and the iranian people. we know there is pattern in the middle east. the question is whether or not it actually happened here. when president obama talks about the red line being crossed, use of chemical agents if in fact that is proven would be the red line and i would believe provoke u.s. military intervention. bill: doug, what do you think?. >> i couldn't agree with monica more. let's be clear. this is the interest of the united states and our only stable democratic ally in the region, israel. israelis said, two ministers said yesterday they have definitive evidence that chemical weapons have been used in aleppo. i think we need to prepare for the likelihood we will have to intervene militarily on the side of the coalition to end this. bill: senator feinstein two days ago said we need to be prepared for dark days and she was in a highly classified meeting along wi
spirited discussion on the subject of the over flights. anything that supports president assad is problematic and i made it very clear to the prime minister that the over flights in iran are, in fact, helping to sustain president assad and his regi regime. >> customer reported he left the meeting without reaching an agreement with maliki. those oppose to assad's government is trying to maintain a coalition after the backed opposition resigned. with the help of the cia, arab nations in turkey have sharply stepped up aid to the rebels. there is a troublesome straight line from afghanistan, where the secretary of state is this morning, through iran, through iraq, and into syria. >> i think the people who also have noticed this are the afghan leadersh leadership. so it's interesting. you have secretary hagel who does a visit. secretary kerry now doing the visit. the president hasn't been to afghanistan in a year now and other things taking his attention in the region whether iran and rising tensions with syria and economic challenges in jordan, et cetera. they are watching this stu
whether our policy is right. it's not too early to know how history will judge assad. that's easy. but in terms of whether or not we have proceeded in a more deliberate way than some would want us to, and probably a little more than i would want us to if you want to get into that, nonetheless the goal here is to make sure that what happens after assad is, is stable, is diverse, is not chaotic. that the right people are the ones that take over when assad goes. and that's, that's a matter of putting in place, if possible, a kind of an interim political coalition, which will have broad support inside of syria, which will not see a long period of retribution and violence following the fall of assad which will happen. and putting that in place to the extent that's possible is what is going on now. at the same time, supporting the opposition, at least those elements of the opposition which we believe are positive, constructive, progressive elements, but that are not the extreme element that otherwise could turn syria into a, if possible, hard to imagine, even, worst case, than is with a
at this point. malaki's focus is not having a regime in syria. our focus is not allowing assad to continue to exist. >> that's right. the shia regime doesn't want to see a sunni regime in syria. iran wants to maintain assad's power and iran is shipping weapons through iraq to syria. many people say it's those weapons and a lot of the training coming from iran that is propping up the aassad regime in syria. if we can cut that off, we might be able to cut off the weapons propping up in the assad regime. we can't get those flights to land, be inspected. if jordan has intelligence there's weapons on those flights we can't cut it off. it is a damned shame because we spent all that time, blood in iraq, we should have that type of relationship where we can stop that. instead we can't. >>brian: secretary of state condoleezza told us here that status agreement was written to be renegotiation before it was up. if that was renegotiated successfully we would have had presence in the region and you could argue there would not be the intertribal strife they're witnessing right now. therefore, we would h
that hezbollah's ally assad's regime has sock piled rockets, we will guard against that. i made it clear to assad and all that follow his orders, we will chemicalate the use of weapons or the transfer of those weapons. the world is watching and we will hold you accountable. [applause] the syrian people have the right to be free from the grip of a dictator who would rather kill s own people than relinquish power. assad must go so a serious future can begin. because true stability in syria depends on establishing a government that is responsible to its people. one that protects all communities within its borders while making peace with countries beyond them. that this is what i think about when i think about israel's security. when i think about israel's security i also think about the people who have a living memory of the holocaust. faced with a government that is called for iran's disruption. no wound their israel views this as a threat. this is not simply a challenge for israel but it is a danger for the entire world, including the united states. [applause] a nuclear-armed iran will raise the r
. but maliki has his own reasons for wanting to have assad in power. is it the kinship between shia and alouites, is it a concern that if his government is toppled it puts pressure on sectarian tensions within iraq? help us understand why the maliki government is taking the position it is, regarding the conflict in syria. >> you look for simple explanations. many international jihadis entered iraq and committed acts. whether they facilitated or not, they did not stop it. in 2009 after a particular set of horrific bombings, maliki wanted to take them to a criminal court. it looks like saddam's regime, when people see an uprising in syria, it looks like iraq in 1990, 1991. how did this come about? it is simplistic to say that -- more the issue is maliki and shia is they must see the threat facing them in the same way that iran sees the threat, and by the threats, i mean this fear of the sunni regime's getting together, coming together to overthrow the shia regime of assad and then overthrowing the shia regime in baghdad. it is this fear of the alternative. it is fear is assad is on th
assad is widely believed to have a chemical weapons arsenal, including nerve agents as well as mustard gas. the parliament of cyprus voted to reject a bill that would tax bank deposits in order to qualify for an international bailout package. to receive $13 billion from the e.u. and the international monetary fund, cyprus has to raise $7.5 billion on its own. but taxing people's bank accounts proved unpopular, even when the provision was added to shield small savers. banks across cyprus will remain closed until thursday to avoid a run on cash. uncertainty about the cyprus situation set markets around the world and on wall street on edge. the dow jones industrial average gained more than three points to close above 14,455. the nasdaq fell eight points to close at 3229. seven u.s. marines were killed after a mortar unexpectedly exploded during a training exercise in western nevada. military officials said that prompted the pentagon to halt the use of the mortar worldwide until an investigation can be completed. the accident happened last night at the hawthorne army depot. the marines who
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